Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 3/6/12
Bowling Green's season of frustration ended Monday with a 54-53 loss to Central Michigan in the first round of the Mid-American Conference tournament. The Falcons finished 16-15, with 10 of the losses coming by nine points or fewer, three at home and seven on the road. Of Bowling Green's eight losses to MAC teams, six were by five points or fewer. There were different things that went wrong at different times in the defeats, but the main areas were the inability to maintain a lead, difficulties defending at key times, and finding someone who could make a shot at the end of the game. While the Falcons didn't go very deep, there was talent on the team with seniors Dee Brown and Scott Thomas, both of whom scored more than 1,000 points in their careers; redshirt junior A'uston Calhoun, who was Bowling Green's best inside scoring threat; and junior Jordon Crawford, who went through a rough stretch early in the season but was consistent for the most part down the stretch. For next season, which will be Louis Orr's sixth at Bowling Green, the Falcons must figure out a way to hold onto leads and close games out. Calhoun and Crawford will be counted on to fill even bigger roles. Both will have to improve their overall games, as they will be the focus of Bowling Green's offense and also the focus of the opposition's defense. Junior center Cam Black, who is 6-foot-10, also will have to improve, especially on offense. He started 30 of 31 games this season but averaged less than four points and four rebounds per game. Black was solid in the middle of Bowling Green's 2-3 zone defense, blocking 47 shots, which is fourth on the school's single-season list. Junior forward Craig Sealey, redshirt sophomore guard Anthony Henderson, sophomore guard Chauncey Orr and sophomore guard Jehvon Clarke will be battling for playing time. All four are going to have to make major strides in consistency and productivity. Senior guard Luke Kraus will be coming back from a broken foot after missing the final 17 games of the season. He can play some defense, but he will need to score to help the team. Senior guard James Erger also returns, but he has seen limited playing time in three seasons. Incoming signees Spencer Parker and Richaun Holmes, as well as Desmond Rorie, who was redshirted this season, will be looking to back up Calhoun and Black inside. NOTES, QUOTESBrown finishes strong --Senior G Dee Brown played one of his best all-around games in the 68-64 loss to Buffalo on March 3. Brown finished with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists, four steals and only one turnover in 34 minutes. Brown scored in double figures in 16 of his last 19 regular-season games. In 16 MAC games, he averaged 11.8 ppg. Brown was 38th on Bowling Green's career scoring list with 1,035 points entering the postseason. --Redshirt junior F A'uston Calhoun had 73 points (18.3 ppg) and 20 rebounds (5.0 per game) in his last four regular-season games. For the season, Calhoun had seven games in which he scored 20 or more points. --For the first time this season, senior F Scott Thomas fouled out of a game and did not have a steal March 3 against Buffalo. Thomas came into the Buffalo game tops in the MAC with an average of 2.5 steals a game. BY THE NUMBERS: 1968 -- Bowling Green has not appeared in the NCAA tournament since Bill Fitch was the coach in 1967-68. It was the only season Fitch coached the Falcons. QUOTE TO NOTE: "We had three chances to tie ... We got second shots, but they just didn't drop." -- Coach Louis Orr after Bowling Green had three shots in the final seconds in an effort to tie the game at Buffalo on March 3, but they could not convert. STRATEGY AND PERSONNELTHIS WEEK'S GAMES:--Season over.FUTURES MARKET: Guard Jehvon Clark will be a sophomore next season, and he needs to quickly figure out the college game. Clarke showed the most promise and played the most minutes of any young player on the team this season. He played very well at Michigan State on Dec. 17, scoring 14 points while making four of five shots from the field. The Falcons could use Clarke, who has point guard experience, at the No. 2 guard next season replacing senior Dee Brown. They could keep Jordon Crawford at the point for his senior season. But to get on the floor, Clarke is going to have to progress and develop his game beyond the natural ability he displayed in spots this season. PLAYER NOTES --Junior F A'uston Calhoun enters his final season with the Falcons needing 162 points to become the 40th player in school history to score 1,000 points for his career. Calhoun averaged 13.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game this season. For next year, Calhoun must develop a consistent mid-range jumper he can use when teams take away his moves off the low block. --Junior Jordon Crawford makes up for lack of size (5-foot-6) with quickness and a lack of fear. To take his play to the next level and be one of the top point guards in the MAC, Crawford needs to make better decisions, thus cutting down on his turnovers. This season he finished with 148 assists, the 10th-best single-season total in school history. However, that was off-set by 107 turnovers. In 17 games against MAC teams, Crawford had 86 assists and 61 turnovers. Crawford can also be a factor offensively. He averaged 11.1 points per game this season while making 33.7 percent of his 3-pointers.
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